“It is more important to me to explain a [philosophical] principle than any other thing that I teach.” (Rambam, Mishna Berachot, 9:7) Illuminating Jewish Thought is a contemporary, multi-volume series that surveys the theological foundations of Jewish faith. With the approach and scope of a master educator for undergraduate and rabbinical students at Yeshiva University, Rabbi Wiederblank brings together a wide array of Jewish texts ranging from philosophical to Kabbalistic, ancient to modern, in a clear and accessible source book.
Can we prove that God exists, and if we can’t, why should we believe? What must we believe and what if we don’t? What does the Torah say about the age of the universe? Why study philosophy? What is machshava? These are some of the questions Illuminating Jewish Thought seeks to answer by carefully studying traditional Jewish sources and considering their application to timeless and contemporary problems.
We turn to the Torah to solve these queries because Torah is more than wisdom – it is light (Mishlei 6:23). Machashava, learned properly, illuminates our lives. Illuminating Jewish Thought Vol 1 attempts to reveal some of that light by surveying the theological foundations of Jewish faith. This title is part of the RIETS Hashkafa Series.
In this volume, the author shows the richness of the Jewish scholastic tradition relating to three fundamental yet esoteric topics: free will, the afterlife, and the messianic era. Primary sources are presented in their original language with modern English translation, enabling readers to analyze the texts independently, while the author illuminates and contextualizes these complex concepts. Altogether, Illuminating Jewish Thought reveals the bedrock on which lies the nexus of Jewish belief and practice.